Ethel Violet Baldock was born in 1893 in Gravesend, Kent to Samuel and Frances. When she was only six years old, her mother and her elder sister, who was next in age to her, died within weeks of each other. By Christmas of that year, her father had married again. The youngest of six daughters Ethel also had two younger brothers. By 1911 her eldest sister Florence had married and, Ethel moved in with her sister and husband working at a hotel in Tunbridge Wells as a housemaid and waitress.
Ethel was arrested in March 1912 alongside Violet Bland for breaking a window valued at £10 at the Commercial Cable Company premises in Northumberland Avenue. Tried together, and both defended by George Blanco White who argued assiduously that the window was overvalued, they were both found guilty. Ethel agreed to be bound over to keep the peace while Violet, see a later blog, was sentenced to four months. This appears to have been the cessation of Ethel’s involvement with the suffrage movement. Three years later, she married Arthur Hodge and, they went on to have one child. Ethel died in 1939.
 Votes for Women 5 April 1912
The next two entries are for Lucy A Baldock and Minnie Baldock who are one and the same person.
Born Lucy Minnie Rogers in 1864 in Poplar, East London she was commonly known as Minnie. Her father worked as a cooper making barrels. In 1888 she married Henry Baldock, and within two years they had their first child Henry. Her husband, usually known as Harry, is recorded in the 1891 census return working as a general labourer in the East End. Their second son, John known as Jack, was born six years later. By the early 1890s, the family had moved to Canning Town, in the East End of London where Harry found work in the shipyards, a trade his two sons later followed him into. Harry became involved in local politics and was, in due course, elected a councillor for West Ham. Many had started to lobby for the foundation of a Labour Party for the working classes to ensure that they had true representation. In 1893 the Independent Labour Party was founded with Keir Hardie as its leader, with the aim “to secure the collective ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.” Hardie was Minnie and Harry’s local Member of Parliament, inspired by Hardie’s work they both joined the fledgeling political party.
Through the family’s political activities Minnie forged friendships with Keir Hardie, Charlotte Despard and Dora Montefiore. Along with Keir Hardie in 1903 she organised a meeting protesting at the low pay of women and assisted in the administration of the West Ham Unemployed Fund. Two years later, inspired by Charlotte Despard’s involvement with the Board of Guardians, founded to distribute aid to the poor and one of a few municipal organisations to which a woman could be elected, Minnie stood, unsuccessfully for election to the board as an Independent Labour candidate. Like Charlotte, Minnie joined the Women’s Social and Political Union establishing a branch with Annie Kenney in Canning Town, East London in early 1906. Minne was one of seven signatories to a letter, published in the Daily News, setting out the WSPU’s forthcoming strategy: the taking of space in Clement’s Inn and the need for funds.
Minnie lobbied Asquith and Campbell-Bannerman at meetings and at their homes. In July 1906 a group of women, including Dora Montefiore and Annie Kenney, protested outside Asquith’s home in Cavendish Square. Minnie was charged with intent to cause an obstruction. Much was made of the women’s ‘threatening and abusive words’. In court, Minnie countered by pointing out that the protest had been peaceful and ladylike. The magistrate was of the clear view that in any event, their actions were agitation and ordered them to be bound over to keep the peace for twelve months. On their collective refusal to accept they were taken to Holloway Prison to serve six weeks.
On her release, Minnie continued to be an active speaker on the question of suffrage. She was arrested again, following a protest in the lobby of the House of Commons in February 1908, and charged with behaviour leading to a breach of the peace. Refusing to be bound over, she was imprisoned for four weeks. It was a movement of solidarity, and other suffragettes ensured her young son, Jack, was cared for while she was in prison. Maud Arncliffe Sennett sent him toys. In a statement published in Votes for Women Minnie said ‘I go to prison to help to free those who are bounds by unjust laws and tyranny.’ On her release, Minnie was one of the organisers of a rally to be held in June in Hyde Park. She describes arriving at the WSPU offices late in the evening to fold fliers into envelopes, the women working until the early hours of the morning.
 London Daily News 8 October 1906
 DPP 1/19
 Votes for Women 5 March 1908
 Votes for Women 30 April 1908
In 1909 Minnie took part in the campaign in the West Country alongside her continuing East End activities. Like many, she does not appear on the 1911 census. Papers seized from the WSPU indicate that during 1912 Minnie was one of the signatories who issued receipts for monies received. In 1911 Minnie was diagnosed with cancer. Later she and Harry moved to Southampton where her mother’s family had originated from and where Minnie continued to be active in the fight for the vote. With the advent of World War 1, the WSPU agreed to halt its militant activities and support the war effort in return for which the Government granted an amnesty, thus the record which forms the basis for this research. A by-product of the agreement was the renaming of the Suffragette newspaper to the Britannia, a suitably patriotic title. One report, in the newly named publication, is of a meeting held at the dock gates in Southampton were Minnie, along with others, promoted the WSPU win the war agenda. The following week Minnie chaired a meeting at premises she provided in her role as honorary secretary of the Southampton branch.
 DPP 1/19
 Suffragette 22 August 1913
 Britannia 23 August 1918 25 October 1918
Later, a widowed Minnie moved to Poole in Dorset. The 1939 register reflects that Minnie still had political interests. The Labour Member for Parliament for Upton in East London and his wife, are on the register alongside her. Minnie died in 1954, aged ninety, and is buried in Hamworthy, Dorset.
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